King Kong vs. Godzilla

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King Kong vs. Godzilla
Directed by Ishirō Honda (Japan)
Thomas Montgomery (US)
Produced by Tomoyuki Tanaka (Japan)
John Beck (US)
Written by Shinichi Sekizawa
Starring Tadao Takashima
Kenji Sahara
Yu Fujiki
Ichirō Arishima
Mie Hama
Michael Keith (US release)
Music by Akira Ifukube
Cinematography Hajime Koizumi
Distributed by Toho Company (Japan)
Universal-International Pictures (US)
Release date(s) August 11, 1962 (Japan)
June 26, 1963 (US)
Running time 97 minutes (Japan)
91 minutes (US)
Country Japan
Language Japanese
Budget ¥5 million (Japan)
$200,000 (US)
Gross revenue ¥350 million (Japan)
$1.25 million (US)
Preceded by Son of Kong (King Kong franchise)
Godzilla Raids Again (Godzilla franchise)
Followed by Mothra vs. Godzilla (Godzilla franchise)
King Kong Escapes (King Kong franchise)

Kingu Kongu tai Gojira (translated: King Kong vs. Godzilla) is a 1962 daikaiju (giant monster) film produced by the Japanese Toho Studios, and directed by Ishiro Honda, who is the most well-known Toho director. The film pits the famous giant gorilla, Kong, against Toho's own monster, Godzilla. Universal-International Pictures distributed the English-dubbed version of the film (which also included additional footage starring American actor Michael Keith as TV news reporter Eric Carter) in North America, where it debuted on June 26, 1963.


Spoiler warning
This article contains important plot information

On the small Faro Island in the Pacific Ocean, King Kong lived with the natives of the island. Eventually, this was discovered by a Japanese doctor, who revealed the secret to Mr. Tako, head of the Pacific Pharmaceuticals company.

Mr. Tako is looking for something to boost the ratings of his television company, and decides that Kong would make the perfect star. So he immediately heads for Faro Island. As soon as he arrives at the native village, a giant octopus attacked, trying to get at the large jars of red berry juice. However, Kong appears and drives the octopus away, and then sedates himself on the juice and gets transported back to Japan on a large raft.

Meanwhile, an American submarine, Seahawk, gets caught on a large iceberg, the same that Godzilla was imprisoned in in the previous film, Godzilla Raids Again. As the rescue helicopter descends, the pilots observe the huge menace breaking out of the ice and escaping into the sea to attack a Japanese Arctic base, destroying it.

Mr. Tako in the meantime visits the ship that was transporting Kong back to the mainland, but Kong escapes and swims away to Japan, meeting Godzilla in a large valley. Kong attempts to kill his opponent by throwing boulders at him, but is driven off by Godzilla's atomic ray. The JSDF (Japan Self-Defense Forces) try to kill the two using power lines filled with a million volts of electricity, which seems to stop Gojira but only makes Kong stronger. He goes on a rampage through Tokyo, and in a scene reminiscent of the original 1933 film kidnaps a beautiful woman, Fumiko, from a train and carries her to the top of Tokyo Tower, where he is sedated again by the fumes from the berry juice.

The monster is flown via huge balloons over to Godzilla, where it is hoped that the two will kill each other fighting. Godzilla is apparently victorious at first, knocking Kong out and preparing to roast him, but then an electrical storm arrives and revives Kong. The two begin battling again and this time Kong gets the advantage. The battle continues to the coast, where the two behemoths tumble into the ocean. After a few minutes, Kong emerges and begins to swim back toward Faro Island, and Godzilla is nowhere to be seen.

Spoilers end here.

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